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Terry Sheils

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Gift of the Seas
by Terry Sheils   

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Books by Terry Sheils
· Nobody Told the Wind
· Poe - the Musical
· Par for the Corpse
                >> View all



Publisher:  LTDBooks ISBN-10:  1553169980 Type: 


Copyright:  Jan 1 2000

A dying man sails off into the Pacific and finds life and love.

Barnes &
Terry Sheils

Adam Carlysle has had a bad year. First his wife, Erin, leaves him for his business partner, Cynthia, taking with him their life savings and their half of their business which imports primitive Pacific artworks. Then he discovers that he has an inoperable form of cancer, the TV blows its picture tube and his laptop packs it in. But does he roll over and play dead? Not on his life. He sells his last remaining asset, his house, buys a sailboat, stocks it with cognac and sails into the Pacific...where his bad luck only seems to continue, for he is shipwrecked in a storm. However, then, his fortunes change. He meets a beautiful Eurasian called La'iki with whom he falls in love, finds a race of mythical dwarf people known in legend as the menehunes and discovers that there is a supreme race of Gods who possess all knowledge but only parcel it out to humanity as and when they feel humanity can handle it. These gods miraculously cure him of his cancer and La'iki's love restores the self-esteem he lost with his wife's treachery. All this within the space of a few months, or weeks, or... Well, it's somewhat difficult to tell exactly. For the coast guard insists there is no way he could have survived the original storm.


It had been a hell of a year for Adam Carlysle. That his wife took off with his business partner was the least of his troubles. The business partner, after all, was Cynthia Bloom - like his wife, a full-breasted ball-breaker - and he was no match for that kind of competition. Of course, the fact that Erin - that was his wife - convinced Cynthia to take off with all the liquid assets from their collectibles import business made things a little worse. Then Adam discovered that he probably had an inoperable form of cancer and, even allowing for a possible period of remission, had probably a year to live. That wasn't too good. But when his TV and his laptop gave up the ghost and the Ford blew its engine, that was it. With no car, he couldn't get out to meet the replacement part for Erin in his life, and he couldn't stay home and watch TV or surf the Net. Besides, B.C.Tel was making nasty noises about Erin's long distance bills. The City and the Bank would be after him next, he suspected. Erin had been supposed to pay the taxes, but no cheque had bounced from the account she'd cleaned out. It was almost enough to make a man so thoroughly pissed off he'd turn on the gas in the oven...if it hadn't been shut off already. But Adam Carlysle was made of stronger stuff than that. Oh, when the laptop quit, he shed a tear. Several in fact. But then he walked out of the house that he and Erin had shared (with Cynthia for the past six months, actually), walked straight over to Jack Blondell's, who was a Century 21 agent, and said, "Sell my house. Today." "Today?" Jack gasped. "Today or I get my pistol..." "For God's sake, man, I know things have been tough!" Jack was aghast. "But nothing's so bad you have to kill yourself." "Not," Adam said. "Today," Jack nodded. "Cash only," Adam said. He took the cheque that Jack had got from the buyer to the bank and turned it into cash before anyone had a chance to have second thoughts and stop payment. Then he spent the evening at the Pan Pacific at the Japanese restaurant and watching the yachts in Vancouver Harbour from his hotel room window. Then in the morning, he took the ferry over to North Van and a taxi up the coast to where the marinas were less pricey. "What's that boat go for?" he asked the nautical type in the sailor's cap who showed him around. It had caught his eye probably more because of its name than anything else: Erin Go Bragh. He didn't actually know what "go bragh" meant in Gaelic but in Carlyslean it meant "go screw yourself." "That boat over there." he pointed "It's a ship," the N.T. corrected him. "Anything you can put a boat on is a ship. That one's a yawl." "How yawl?" Adam chuckled and the N.T. frowned. "Of course, if you don't use a sail on the mizzen, it's a sloop." "Of course. The Sloop John B. Wanna go home, cookie had the fits and all that. But you haven't answered my question. Cost?" "On time, twenty-five grand." "Cash?" "Twenty." "Sold. Say, how much you know about sailing?" the Nautical Type asked. "How much is there?" Adam shrugged. "You need wind of course. And a sail is nice. The sail's to catch the wind. And a steering wheel." "Tiller," the N.T. became officious again. "It looks like a wheel. I don't hold with all this jargon," Adam grumbled. "You know much about navigation? Like how to use this compass?" The N.T. pointed to the dial on the stand beside the "wheel." "I know it always points North," Adam said. "Useless to me." "How come?" "North is that way," Adam said, gesturing vaguely toward his right. "I want to go that way." He pointed straight out across the Pacific. "You don't know bugger all about navigation." The N.T shook his head in disbelief. "What's that matter?" Adam asked. "What do I have to know to get where I'm going?" "And where's that?" "Nowhere in Particular," Adam said. "Absolutely Nowhere in Particular." "I hope you find it," the N.T. said.

Professional Reviews

A Bad Year - Or...?
"Adam Carlysle's wife, Erin, has left him for his business partner Cynthia. They've taken his money and his artifact importing business. Then he learns he has an inoperable tumor. So he sells his house, buys a sailboat and sails into the great unknown, equipped with some liquor and a Traci Lords video. He meets and saves La'iki, a beautiful island girl, who shows her gratitude by becoming his wife. She wears an unusual artifact, and Adam realizes she could lead him to a treasure trove of such objects, if he plays his cards right... Sheils takes a number of disparate plot elements and combines them by the close of the book, although the ending(s) is a bit fuzzy. The use of Hawaiian and Polynesian influences creates an interesting setting for a fantasy novel. The plot moves along swiftly. And the Traci Lords video serves, more than once, as a pivotal plot device in this (mostly) soft-core narrative."

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Books by
Terry Sheils

Butterfly House

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Knights Tiger

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Gift of the Seas

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Dreams for the Wind

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Ghost Writer

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Poe - the Musical

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Par for the Corpse

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